The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA used to be a country with great leadership respected and admired for the strength of its economy and its democracy. Now everything built is at high risk of deterioration. How did we get here?
One of the more evident applications of the Yin and Yang concept is the ideological polarization between people’s ideas and beliefs. The first Europeans that populated and founded the United States of America canalized their more fundamental differences through two main political parties which interaction, dynamic and evolution contributed to build a great country.
Tracking the history of the position about slavery and discrimination in the American people is a good example of this dualism.
Even though George Washington had abolitionist ideas and the declaration of independence says that “all men are created equal” the new nation was not ready to free the slaves. Washington understood that the concept of slavery was still ingrained in an important part of the American leaders and he could not jeopardize the national cohesion for that disagreement. About a hundred years later those differences plunged the nation into a civil war and the country of freedom had to pay a high price to preserve the union and to declare the abolition of slavery.
Meanwhile the new antislavery laws were enforced. Other discriminating sentiments based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin were growing in one part of the population creating a breach of values and ideas among the Americans. An important effort to minimize the effect of those differences is reflected in the history of the Civil Rights Acts(1866, 1871, 1875, 1957,1960, 1964, 1968, 1990, 1991) which had been written to prohibit race based violence against African Americans, to prohibit discrimination, to protect the right to vote and to guarantee other human rights prerogatives. Important leaders were immolate in that political and ideological fight. Despite that, the country had grown to become the most powerful nation in the world. However, now we’re facing a critical situation.
The unity and struggle of opposites that move this country rely on two fundamental aspects:
1. The capacity to update the system
2. The ability to keep the integrity of the social contract1.
From my point of view the greatest part of the current crisis is due to the anachronisms of certain laws and procedures. We failed in fixing the gaps in our system that reflect the changes and evolution in our society and in the world. On the other hand, many citizens feel that we have been betrayed in our social contract. Many concerns raised about the capacity of the state to guarantee our rights and maintenance of the social order.
I believe in the greatness and strength of spirit of the American people to overcome this adversity despite our differences and despite the challenges of Mother Nature.
1“Social contract arguments typically posit that individuals have consented, either explicitly or tacitly, to surrender some of their freedoms and submit to the authority (of the ruler, or to the decision of a majority) in exchange for protection of their remaining rights or maintenance of the social order”.